GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Friday, October 31, 2008

What a Geologist Sees - Part 24b




Just a couple of photos from the City of Rocks State Park in Grant Co., NM, as referenced in the previous post. It is a neat place to camp, but one time I stopped there at night to show it to a friend as we were traveling through the area. In the moonlight, the "hoodoos" were just a little too spooky.

If memory serves me correctly, these pyroclastic ash flow tuffs were erupted from the very large Emory Caldera.

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What a Geologist Sees - Part 24

I am sure that many folks have seen rounded boulders before. Have you given much thought to how they got rounded?

One possibility is that the boulders were rounded in a river channel subject to "big ass" floods, necessary to move and abraid the boulders against each other.

But more often, the boulders are rounded in situ (in place) by a process called spheroidal weathering. On the Georgia Piedmont, most often we see spheroidal weathering in granites and granitic gneisses.

A couple of other places where I have seen spheroidal weathering of granites is Texas Canyon, AZ and Sequoia National Park. [While traveling with my college roommate Dave in 1974, we were in our campsite in Sequoia, stretched out on the hood of the car, leaning against the windshield watching the stars. In the dim light of nearby lanterns, we could see that we were surrounded by rounded granite boulders. After a while, I became aware that there seemed to be an "extra boulder". Turning on the flashlight, that "extra boulder" stood up (it was a bear). At that point, we decided the car was a better place to sleep that night, rather than the tent.]

An additional place where I have seen spheroidal weathering, of volcanic ash-flow tuffs, is in the City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico. [I may place a photo in a later post of this particular place.] With the softer ash-flow tuffs, wind erosion may have also played a role in rounding the boulders, in that particular locale.

What is destined to become rounded boulders starts off as fractured bedrock, broken by what we call brittle deformation. At depth, with the greater confining pressure and heat, rocks become plastic (softened) and undergo folding, stretching, and other forms of ductile deformation. At shallower depths, without the confining pressure and the flexibility provided by the higher temperatures, the rocks become fractured and jointed during earthquakes and other heavings of the earth, leaving angular corners.

As weathering and erosion proceed over the countless millenia, the downward percolating water and natural acids attack the minerals on the outer margins of the rock, by way of the joints and fractures - in the shallow subsurface. The chemical breakdown of minerals by chemical reactions is called chemical weathering.
There are several chemical weathering processes, the one that attacks the feldspars in the granites is primarily hydrolysis.

In areas prone to occasional freezing, the expansion of ice in the fractures (and microfractures) provide even more surface area. This is one process in what we call physical weathering.

Over time, the combined processes of physical and chemical weathering attack the corners of the rock, rounding them off. As erosion carries away overlying soil and degraded rock, the boulders become exposed, wherein the processes of chemical and physical weathering continue, yielding the rounded boulders as seen in the photo.

[The scars seen on the photos are likely from the bulldozers used to "gather" the boulders during construction at the nearby Nature Center parking lot.]

[Visit this post for links to previous posts in this series.]

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So, With the Month of October Almost Over...

is this video the "October Surprise"? If we had an honest and open MSM, it could well be. It is just more evidence of Obama the Marxist.

[By way of Cassy Fiano and Stop the ACLU].

The Stop the ACLU post has a transcript and a link to the original audio.

[I don't pretend to be a constitutional scholar, but having sat through hours of Neal Boortz's lawyerly analysis of the Constitution (and having read it a few times, though not monthly as I should), I have a fair idea of the context and intent of the framers.]

From the transcript come these words from the Anointed One:

..."But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society."...

[It ain't supposed to deal with issues of redistribution. It is supposed to deal with the constitutionality of various laws and lower-court opinions. And because libs love looking for "code words" - "economic justice" is a code word for revenge for misdeeds that happened several generations ago (in some cases).]

..."It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties."...

[This should tell you all you need to know about his mindset. Our founders knew what it was like to have their doors kicked in by the soldiers of a corrupt king.

The exact purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (and explained in the Declaration of Independence) is to limit the power of government. The Constitution is a "charter of negative liberties" only in the sense that it prevents government from doing what it wants. You know, the old "checks and balances" thing.]

The transcript continues...

..."I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way."...

[It is not supposed to be structured that way. Obama is a constitutional scholar from the Frank Marshall Davis/William Ayers school of thought.]

In all seriousness, you should print out copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in case they are branded "hate documents" by the Obama Ministry of Truth. [Or in a more subtle way, online sources of these documents could have the words "tweaked" to give them a different meaning. I am not paranoid, we are dealing with Saul Alinsky disciples, we have to consider these possibilities.]

We face losing our most effective checks and balances if they get 60+ Senate seats and are able to pack the Supreme Court (and lower courts) with more Libs. Then expect to lose the Second Amendment, which is the ultimate check-and-balance in the defense of Liberty against the tyranny wrought by Socialism.

With the loss of free-market talk radio (and whatever else that might follow), it could happen.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

While Senator Obama is in Hawaii...

after he checks on his grandmother, I wonder if he is going to spend any time looking for his original birth certificate.

Just curious.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So What is it About the Praise for Small Towns...

that grates on the nerves of the anointed ones of the MSM? [I woke up at 3:15 AM, couldn't get back to sleep, so I decided to do a couple loads of laundry. So if I blather and drift, that is the reason.]

To the MSM and other libs, life seems to be a big zero-sum game. They think that when someone makes more money, that means someone else has to make less. Or in this case, when you praise someone (or something), you are automatically slamming "the opposite". It ain't so. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

It is something that you probably can't understand unless you grew up in a small town. I am sure that some in the MSM were born in small towns, but in Liberal Land, those "small town values" are subject to ridicule by "the elite", so they must be forgotten or at least buried.

My hometown, to which I returned in 1991, only had maybe 1,000 - 2,000 people served by the post office, up until perhaps the mid-1970's. Now it is an "exurb" of Atlanta. You can still find a dirt road around here, but it takes a little time to remember where they are.

There is still a core of natives and I will be "hanging" with some of those folks this Saturday when our Methodist Church - and our friendly rival, the local Baptist Church - sponsor a "great day of service", where we rekindle (or continue) our spirit of volunteerism within the community. Each time, I take part in the cemetary cleanup (pulling weeds, etc.), not for any morbid reason, but to keep in touch with local history. I have family on both the "Methodist side" and the "Baptist side" of the town cemetary. After we finish, we gather for barbeque lunch and continue conversations that began while pulling weeds, raking leaves, etc.. This spring, my State Representative (who was my 5th grade teacher) and our mayor (who was a classmate 1st - 8th grade) were there, having taken part in the cleanup.

My wife was born in a small town in NW Oklahoma. Though she grew up in El Paso, she still has family in that small town and we try to visit there at least once a year. If we are there at Christmas, we attend her grandmother's Congregationalist Church service on Christmas Eve. It is a place where the kids can take in a fishing tournament on the morning of July 4th and fireworks in the evening (after the thunderstorms). It is a little too small for me to live there, but I can certainly enjoy a few days unwinding there, especially if I can get away and cruise the farm roads and enjoy the rolling grasslands of NW Oklahoma.

What is "special" about a small town is a little hard to articulate. Sarah Palin understands that specialness, Rush Limbaugh understands what it is, too. I guess it is that we think people are more grounded in reality in a small town. In a small town, you don't have to drive far to see "the edge" of town, where nature (in some form) prevails over pavement. It somehow puts things in a different perspective.

In a small town, you may well be in closer proximity to your family or if you are not a native, perhaps an "adopted family", through work or church. It helps us remember that people, not things are most important.

In a small town, there are fewer distractions, fewer temptations. And for those temptations/sins that you shouldn't be pursuing, because "everyone knows everyone else's business", that can serve as a deterrent.

Hedonism may seem fun in the short run, but having those deterrents may save you some grief in the long run. If you long-avoided that sleazy strip club (or that pool hall where fights are a regular event) at the edge of town - because a relative might have seen your car in the parking lot - you are better off in the long run. As you look back on your life, I can guarantee that you won't regret having avoided that strip club and you won't regret having missed those barfights, either.

Where broadcast TV stations are fewer in number and cable may be too expensive, it may force you away from the idiot box, to your benefit. You can relearn to use your imagination to find entertainment. Learning to putter around in the yard or go for a walk can have its regenerative effects.

Yeah, interrupted sleep makes for third-class articulations. I am not satisfied with my attempted explanation of small town values. Maybe this rambling blather might encourage someone else to be more articulate in what makes small-town life special.

So will there be any benefit for laying back down for 1/2 hour, 'til it is time to get up and make coffee? Or do I make the coffee now and hope I can snatch a short nap later in the day?

Yada, yada, signing off...

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Monday, October 20, 2008

For the Sake of the Future...

now is not the time to give up. Yeah, I am annoyed at Gen. Colin Powell giving in to the cult of personality, along with some other "conservative" pundits. Are they jockeying for favors in the Obama Administration? Is Colin Powell jockeying for a VP slot if Obama runs for re-election in 2012? Rush Limbaugh has suggested that the fear of an "anal exam" from the MSM was one of the things keeping Colin Powell from running for President as a Republican. As a Democrat VP candidate, without talk radio, that same MSM would be protecting him from overt scrutiny.

These apparently "weak-kneed" conservatives remind me of a roommate I had many moons ago (close to 30 years). When we would play racquetball (for vigorous exercise), whether as singles or as doubles against someone else, if he would get more than 5 points behind, he would give up.

I wasn't a great racquetball player, but I played 2-3 times per week and was in pretty good practice. And a good continual volley is the best way to get exercise and to have fun.

I hated having to "give him points" just to keep him within 5 points and moving as fast as I wanted (for the sake of exercise). And it was especially irritating when we played doubles. He would give up and I would have to carry both of us. He would literally stand there and make almost no effort to chase the ball.

My philosophy is, even when faced with defeat (in amateur athletic endeavors, e.g., racquetball, handball, volleyball, tennis, ping pong,...), fight to make it respectable. 15 - 11 looks better than 15 - 7, 21 - 17 looks better than 21 - 9.

Regardless of what we feel in our hearts, regardless of what we hear from the MSM, we mustn't give up. Even with President Bush (as regarding runaway social spending), I fear that someday our adult children will be standing at the foot of our graves, screaming at us "Why didn't you do something?". Before "he got caught with his pants down" (literally), Newt Gingrich was warning us of this in the mid-1990s. Aside from the confiscatory taxes that have to follow the current bailouts + the Obama agenda, there will be expected losses of freedoms.

Unlike Hillary, I don't expect Obama to moderate after the election. He is too shallow and he is someone else's puppet and will dance to their tune. I don't think he will drift to the middle. He is a disciple of Saul Alinsky, with an earlier introduction to Socialist philosophy, that Hillary didn't have. In other words, I think he began his Socialist nurturing at a younger age than did Hillary. Having his formative years in Indonesia and Hawaii (further from Middle America than Hillary), he has less of an understanding of legacy, both personal and national.

With a close loss, we can rest assured that ACORN and the MSM lies and coverups were major influences. If he realizes that he just "slipped in" maybe that will put enough of a scare into him that he might moderate. If there is somehow an Obama "blowout", we will lose so much credibility that traditional-minded America may be lost.

Get TF out of the way, Bob Barr. The Libertarian philosophy made some sense before 9/11. John McCain is a highly-flawed Republican, but he is likely to keep fighting the War on Terror with more vigor than Barack Obama. If we sustain another large terrorist attack, our economic ills of right now will be the "good old days". If a cluster of suitcase nukes take out several oil refineries in the Houston/Beaumont/Orange/Galveston area, we will be wishing for the days of $4 gasoline. At least the Islamist terrorists know that President McCain (or perhaps President Palin) will come kick their asses, whereas President Obama (or Biden) will be more likely to wring their hands and say to the attackers "We are sorry."

It is too important to give up. Even if we can only make it respectable, that is better than a blowout. Our children and grandchildren's futures are at stake.

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Some Advance Planning...


is needed. Either way the Presidential Election goes, we have to become more proactive in putting down this rising tide of Leftism. And this needs to begin, for if Obama wins, with a larger Democrat majority in the House and Senate, reinstatement of the "Fairness Doctrine" is almost a slam-dunk certainty. So we can expect to lose talk radio and efforts may be made to enforce (or force) some form of the "Fairness Doctrine" onto the internet/blogosphere.

It is "High Time" that we learn "their bible". Barack Obama is a disciple of Saul Alinsky. Consider this quote, from this source.

"Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday." --Letter from L. DAVID ALINSKY, son of Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky

Barack Obama is just a puppet for the George Soros associates. Prior to Obama's annointment as the Chosen One, it seemed that another Alinsky disciple, Hillary Clinton was to serve as their vessel for the advancement of Socialism. Perhaps hearing the footsteps of Father Time behind him, George Soros may have decided that Barack Obama would be the more likely winner, to advance his goals before Satan calls him home.

Knowing more about Saul Alinsky's methods and teachings is a must, if Obama is elected or if he loses, he may be back in 2012. If he loses, but the Democrats maintain their control of the House and Senate, because of McCain's failure to be more assertive in supporting Republicans down the ticket, it remains to be seen how many obstacles will be thrown in President McCain's path. Will we see some of McCain's RINO tendencies arise for the sake of "bipartisanship"?

The name of Bill Ayers, as a mentor, was brought forth too late in campaign. [I believe the 2001 photo at left is from an article in Chicago magazine. It shouldn't need much discussion. It is one of those "thousand word pictures.] No doubt, Ayers learned much from Alinsky.

We can't just cruise along, as we have been doing, assuming good will prevail without effort. What we are sowing now was planted as seeds long ago by the Kremlin and nurtured by their hordes of useful idiots.

Here are a few links to discussions of Rules for Radicals:

Link 1, Link 2, Link 3,...(more may be added).

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What a Geologist Sees - Part 23b

As a follow-up to What a Geologist Sees - Part 23...

Here are a few photos from our Boy Scout trip to Providence Canyons State Park, in Stewart County, GA. It had changed a bit since my last visit, close to 30 years ago and I learned a few new things (Yeah, we old dogs can learn once in a while).

The canyons are not getting any deeper, they have "bottomed out" at about 150 feet deep, but they are continually getting wider, in some places 3 - 5 feet of rim are being lost per year. One park road had been abandoned as the rim approached. I don't really see any way to stop it.

My first trip to Providence Canyons, as a Georgia Southern undergrad, was about 35 years ago and it was part of a field trip to the area, so we didn't have time to hike down in the canyons themselves, this time we did hike up the braided stream deposits (third photo), then up to the visitor's center. From there we hiked around the rim. After stopping for lunch, another of the Assistant Scoutmasters and I left to go back to the visitor's center for a wildflower ID tour, so we missed going back down into the canyon to see the walls "up close and personal".

Some of the new things I learned were that in the Providence Formation, there are some kaolinitic clay beds within the delta sands; the underlying clays in the Ripley Formation are preventing the further downcutting in the canyons, and that Providence Canyons was one signature away from becoming a national park, back in the 1930s. The ranger didn't say who didn't sign on.

Some of the visitors suggested that some of the Providence Canyons features reminded them of Zion National Park (I haven't been there or to Bryce Canyon, so I couldn't say that one way or another). The main difference is that the Colorado Plateau sedimentary rocks are a little harder than the soft sands and clays of the Providence Formation, so Zion doesn't change as fast as Providence Canyons.

I do regret not stepping a few yards from the braided stream to the nearby bluff base to get some close-up photos of the Wild Pink Azaleas, which bloom in the spring and then again in the fall. The two shots I took weren't clear enough to keep.

If I do get to visit Providence Canyons again, I won't wait another 30 years.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Foul Wind Blowing from the Direction of NPR

From this NewsBusters piece, comes some sulfurous verbal flatulence from NPR, by way of the "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" interview with Michael Carey, columnist with the Anchorage Daily News.

To give you an idea of Michael Carey's mindset, in a late-September column - linked in the NewsBusters post - he suggests that there is no media elite in Alaska. [Remember that in this context, elite is an attitude, not a measure of one's paycheck size.] In the NPR interview transcripts in the NewsBusters post, he uses the phrase "backward(s) preacher" three times. He admits it is a bit of a caricature, but he uses it repeatedly, anyway. ["Backwoods preacher(s)" would be a little less perjorative towards those smaller, less-mainstream churches, but elitists-in-denial don't care about such things anyway.]

I haven't listened to the audio of the broadcast yet, but it seems that host Terry Gross is bent upon delivering more of the "Sarah Palin is a fundamentalist" hysteria that she thinks the public wants to hear, along with other bashings on other subjects.

[I guess they have completed their thorough investigations of Barack Obama's preachers, his ideological and philosophical mentors, and his financial connections, and the veracity of his birth certificate, so they have time to address Sarah Palin's background, now.]

From the NewsBusters post transcript:

"GROSS: Sarah Palin's religious views strike some people as extreme. For example, in 2005, she attended a service at her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, where a bishop from Kenya prayed over her, asking Jesus to keep her safe from every form of witchcraft, and he had claimed to have driven out a witch from his village in Kenya. In June, she told a group that his prayers helped her to become governor. Have her religious views been seen as extreme at all within Alaska? "

Regarding the Kenyan preacher's praying over Sarah, what is the issue here? It doesn't mean she believes in witches. When one's church and/or Sunday School class is visited by a Christian preacher (or layperson) from another nation (with a different culture), the first thing to do is BE POLITE TO THE VISITOR. BE THE GRACIOUS HOST. It doesn't mean you have to believe in or agree with every aspect of their local practices. And if her prayers gave her the strength and guidance in her quest to become governor, who are you to ridicule her statements? How do you know it didn't make a difference?

Many of those on the outside of conservative faith have a xenophobic (religo-phobic?) view of those within those faiths, unless they make a conscious effort to combat their bias (most Leftists won't even acknowledge they have any biases). To them, every conservative aspect of a faith represents the dreaded "extreme fundamentalism".

It is all a matter of perspective and arrogance.

When I was young, my family attended the local large Baptist church, which was conservative, but not "hardshell". We heard stories from church members of "what goes on at those 'backwoods" churches where they handle snakes, etc..". We didn't agree with those practices, but we recognized that as long as they didn't get out of control, it was not our place to make harsh judgements on those practices, meaning we tried to be respectful of their right to practice as they wished. The right or wrong was for "the big guy" to decide.

There are very few long-term, hardcore Christian Fundamentalists, though there are individuals that go through short-term phases of such behaviors and attitudes, before they soften and moderate. We face a much greater threat of a near-term loss of freedom to Socialism than we will ever face from a Christian theocracy. Though the political Left doesn't want you to know that.

If they only spent as much time vetting Barack Obama...

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Attacking Everyman

It is getting to the point that common citizens cannot ask the Anointed One unscripted questions, especially if it causes the Anointed One to go off script.

"Joe the Plumber" is having every one of his warts examined under a public microscope. I hope the American Middle is paying close attention. The NoBama blog has a link to just a few of the blog posts that tell of the Leftist blogosphere digging up dirt (and making up even more dirt) on what seems to be an average citizen that dares to show a little audacity. We have seen it with Sarah Palin and we see it with "Joe the Plumber". Moonbattery has more.

I don't normally visit DailyKos, but I did and the diligent folks there had been doing their internet searches, coming up with several individual names and businesses associated with folks with the last name of Wurzelbacher, in the greater Cincinnati area, all in an effort to "prove" that "Joe the Plumber" is not an average working guy. I didn't read all of the comments (to keep my blood pressure under control), but some were taking the viewpoint that if he owned several businesses (largely construction and/or service companies) he wasn't "Middle Class".

No one brought up the issue that - if he did own several small, related businesses - how many jobs has he been responsible for creating? I didn't dare post there, out of fear of being swarmed by rabid moonbats.

I also recall that someone brought up the issue of a Werzelbacher being a son-in-law to Charles Keating and trying to make that connection, as if he was a Republican plant.

While the sideshow unfolds, I am waiting for a Leftist Blogger to dig up Joe the Plumber's authentic birth certificate to show alongside Obama's authentic United States birth certificate. Oh wait, it seems that an authentic United States birth certificate, for Barack Obama, hasn't yet made its public appearance. This YouTube video poses some troubling issues (if it works), offering some evidence that Barack Obama may have been born in Mombasa, Kenya, rather than Hawaii. Others have already made the observation that in 48 hours, we know more about Joe the Plumber than we have learned in 48 months about Barack Obama.

You are seeing the dreams of Saul Alinsky coming to fruition. They are doing whatever it takes to secure power. Lying, stealing, cheating,...it's all OK according to Uncle Saul. The end justifies the means.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just a Few Debate Thoughts...

I think Senator McCain did better than the two previous times.

I do wish he had politely emphasized Barack's greater involvement in ACORN, i.e., an involvement more extensive than Obama suggested. [I am being polite here.]

I also wish Senator McCain had "called him out" on that "tax cuts for 95% of taxpayers" as being an impossibility, as explained here, by Larry Elder.

Another point that I wish Senator McCain had made is that if Barack Obama wins, there will no doubt be a larger Democrat majority in both houses of Congress. If that sadly happens, there will be no reason for Democrats to "compromise" on issues (not that they do anyway, except when forced by massive public opinion). He should have stressed the importance of "checks and balances".

BTW, if anyone brings up the Bush Administration and the Republican "control" of the House and Senate, with the inclusion of RINOs (which at times includes McCain), Republicans never really had a firm grip on the Senate and President Bush is not a strong Conservative, so there were "checks and balances".

McCain did well bringing up two of the "A"s that should dog Obama - Ayers and ACORN, but I guess bringing up the third "A" - Alinsky - would be too much for TV land to absorb.

In the end, I think a Palin - Obama debate might have been fun to watch.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crude Oil is Down to $87...

last I heard. Locally, I have seen $2.98/gallon at a few stations outside of Atlanta.

If Barack Obama wins the election, if gasoline prices have continued to drop, as well as crude prices - because of the economic problems - it is likely that he will use those lower prices as an excuse to say - "We don't need to engage in any new drilling" - IMHO. And you can bet the stronger Democrat Congress & Senate will agree. And the MSM will continue to chirp about "failed Bush energy policies" being the cause of the late summer price increases.

Ain't so, folks. Very little has changed as far as making significant progress toward increasing our supply. We need the increase in drilling activity while other sectors work on their respective strategies and products.

This is just one reason we need adults in charge of making energy decisions.

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A Quick Primer on Gun Safety

You may have seen the Newswreck cover on newsstands (I don't pay much attention to MSM magazines while at the grocery store).

I neglected to comment on an LA Times blog treatment of an old hunting photo of Governor Sarah Palin, as reported by NewsBusters about a week ago. The LA Times blogger, Elizabeth Snead, calls Gov. Palin's firearm a "rifle" and wonders if this is a safe way to carry it.

From the blog, Snead words it in this manner:

..."Hey, is that even the right way to hold a rifle? Can't you shoot your foot off like that?"...

Seeing that NewsBusters piece brought to mind the photo below from the 1990s (?) - original source unknown. It shows Senator Dianne Feinstein's intense attention to gun safety during a photo-op/news conference.

I have never had a formal gun safety course, but I have had a couple of sensible folks drill gun safety rules into my head, my Dad (a WWII Army vet) and a friend in El Paso, who was a member of the County Sheriff's Department Auxiliary.

The first thing you learn is to point the damned thing at the floor or the ceiling (or the sky or ground if you are outside). That is vital, even after you have opened the chamber or checked the cylinder (of a revolver) to assure it is empty. If it is a semi-auto, you remove the magazine. You always treat it as if it loaded.

Rule #2 is keep your damned finger outside of the trigger guard. You can see that DiFi violates both of these rules.

I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment, but some folks are too stupid to own a gun and I think that DiFi and Elizabeth Snead fall into this category. And they are too stupid to be making decisions for other people.

You have to take safety seriously. I know it is awkward to examine a gun while continually pointing it upward or downward, but that is what the responsible individual has to do.

I have known three people that have suffered minor injuries by "guns going off" while they were looking at them. A few degrees of rotation of the firearm could have been fatal. Luck or Guardian Angels resulted in minor grazing by the bullet in each case. I have also had some close encounters with stray bullets.

They ain't toys, they are dangerous tools that need a "little fear", so we don't take the safety issue for granted.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

What a Geologist Sees - Part 23

Providence Canyons, locally called "the Little Grand Canyon", in Stewart County, Georgia, provides a stark look at what can happen when erosion takes hold in an area underlain by a soft sand.


The canyons are generally on the order of 125 feet deep and are only perhaps 150 years old.


[I bring this up as our Boy Scout Troop is scheduled to camp and hike there this weekend.]


The supposed genesis of the canyons was due to rain running off the corner of a church and beginning a small gully. The surface of this area is locally covered by the residuum of the Paleocene-aged Clayton Limestone, which has been reduced to a iron-rich, reddish clay. One this clay veneer is breached by a gully, the underlying soft, deltaic sands of the Cretaceous Providence Sand. There is essentially nothing to stop the downward erosion or the widening of side canyons. At some point in the future, the area will probably reach some sort of equilibrium as a series of low sandy hills, separated by sand-clogged, braided streams.

As an aside, exposures of sand such as this serve as "recharge zones" for sand aquifers and elsewhere, the subsurface Providence Sand does serve as an aquifer.


[Older posts in this series, before Part 22, are linked here.]

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What a Geologist Sees - Part 22



Most folks know a river or creek meander when they see one (or more).

Usually we see them in Coastal Plain settings or other places where the stream gradient (feet/mile drop in elevation) is low, especially if the materials underlying the stream are soft Coastal Plain sediments and/or floodplain deposits.

When a stream's gradient is steep, as in a mountain stream, there is a tendency for gravity to control erosion, i.e., the erosion is vertical - down-cutting as we call it. This vertical down-dutting (being slightly redundant) results in sharp "V"-shaped valleys, with no flood plains.

So when you see deeply-incised meanders, such as in the above photo, that suggests that the meanders were established under low-gradient conditions at a higher Base Level (see this post for an explanation of Base Level). Then a rapid drop in Base Level and/or a rapid uplift of the land "preserved" the meanders as the river cut downward through the Colorado Plateau sedimentary rock layers.
The Grand Canyon also illustrates this same rapid uplift/drop in Base Level, as does the area containing the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, in Colorado, though without the meanders.

[Previous posts in this series are linked here.]

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Applying a Few Science Terms to Modern Events

Just a few science-related terms from my simple mind. These may be used in a later post in regards to current economic conditions.

Input - Matter, energy, or information that goes into a natural system.

Throughput - The movement of matter, energy, or information through the system.

Output - The results of that matter, energy, or information after it has "run its course" through the system.

An example of how input works in a system, if you spill a herbicide above the root system of a tree and the herbicide seeps down to the root system and is taken in, that is Input. Throughput is what happens as the herbicide courses its way through the tree's vascular system. The Output (result) is that the tree dies. And it may take a few month to a few years, depending on the strength (quantity) of the Input and the vigor of the system, i.e., as young trees photosynthesize and grow faster than old trees, a pollutant might kill a young tree faster than an old one. [Remember, I am not an arborist, I am just writing in general terms.]

Time Delay - the different between "Input" and "Output" in a natural system, or "cause and effect". Whether in nature or economics, when something surprises us, it is likely because the cause (or causes) happened years earlier and we didn't notice or chose to ignore early warnings.

Positive Feedback Loop - when a change in a system triggers a secondary (or tertiary) change that speeds up the system. Not always good.

Negative Feedback Loop - when a change in a sytem triggers a secondary (or tertiary) change that slows the system. Not always bad.

Synergy - when two or more inputs combine for a greater effect. Example: Drought stresses pine trees, making them more susceptible to attacks by pine beetles.

Antagonism - when one or more inputs lessen the effects of another input or cancels out the input.

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Just a Thought - Part II

What good are "fact checks" if the fact checkers and/or "reporters" are biased?

Just curious.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Just a Thought...

In the backgrounds of the candidates, in regard to the Keating Five vs. the Weather Underground...

Directed to any of the MSM-types that are dragging up the Keating Five - I don't recall the Keating Five ever trying to blow anything up or killing anybody. Did they?

Just curious.

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Another Unplanned Sabbatical

As it is near mid-term at the college and I have just completed my quarterly part-time job, I need to get back to chores put-off, including blogging. I have some outdoor chores to do, e.g., some exterior painting, before the weather gets too cold.

I have also been trying to get a few more wildflower photos and butterfly photos before the season is over.

So I plan to be back, as soon as time permits and the spirit moves me, which could happen at any time. Maybe today.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

14 + 1

By way of Amanda Carpenter at Townhall.com, a McCain blogger lists 14 lies told by Senator Biden last night.

There is one more that I will add. When the issue of traditional marriage came up, Biden suggested that Barack Obama was all for supporting traditional marriage. T'aint necessarily so.

I don't recall the particular "liberal" group to whom the anointed one was speaking, but he said one of his first tasks as President would be to rescind the Defense of Marriage Act. This was a few weeks ago.

[As I am busy with my quarterly second job, I don't have time to list the 14 lies nor try to find the Obama quote on the Defense of Marriage Act.]

I do wish that Governor Palin had the "huevos" to bring up Obama's "AA problem" - Alinsky-Ayers, that is.

[Perhaps I am too damned nice for my own good, but I would ask myself, were all of these willful lies or was he just wrong about his "facts"? I don't think that, despite his flaws, Joe Biden is a disciple of Saul Alinsky. But I think Biden is willing to believe what is told to him by his "handlers" and knowing Obama's background (Alinsky-Ayers), he is willing to lie.

And I think that Gwen Ifill behaved herself, perhaps because she knew everyone was watching, unlike her normal broadcasts on PBS.

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